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"I don't think I'll be back on my bike for a while"

Sport

Richie Porte hopes to return to racing before the end of the season after seeing his Tour de France bid ended in a high-speed crash yesterday morning.

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Porte suffered a fractured collarbone and pelvis when he slid into an embankment on the technical descent of the Mont du Chat, late on stage nine from Nantua to Chambery.

Immediately after sliding across the road and wiping out Irish rider Dan martin, a bruised and battered Porte was put into a neck brace at the side of the road before being taken to hospital in Chambery, where he has remained as the Tour moved west to the Dordogne for the first rest day.

At the start of the Tour the Australian was seen as the man most likely to end two-time defending champion Chris Froome’s run of dominance, having looked in the form of his life over the first part of the season.

“Obviously, I’ve felt much better than what I do right now,” Porte said in comments released by his BMC team.

“I’m in a fair bit of pain and it’s a big disappointment to be honest. I think I was in great form and the team were really strong around me too, so it’s disappointing but I think after seeing the crash I’m lucky that I have come away with the injuries I have.”

BMC expect Porte to spend a minimum of four to six weeks off the bike, but the 32-year-old wants to race again this season.

“I don’t think I’ll be back on my bike for a good while now,” he said.

“I think the team is good with that. They just say to recover, there is no rush to come back. Hopefully, I’ll pull the BMC Racing team jersey on by the end of the year.

“I remember I came into a corner and it wasn’t like we were going too fast or anything like that, but I just remember I locked the back wheel up and that was it really.

“Next thing I was heading for the grass verge on the corner. I stayed conscious the whole time.

“I remember the whole thing but I must say thank you to the medical staff on the race and the hospital. They have been absolutely fantastic.”

-PA

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